Nico Rosberg has said he is confident he can have a 'strong race' after qualifying on the front row of the grid for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, the third round on the F1 2010 schedule.
Rain made qualifying extremely tough and something of a lottery today, but Rosberg got through both sessions to make it into the top-ten shoot-out, before he eventually secured second in his Mercedes Grand Prix W01.
It was the German's best-ever F1 grid placing and he was delighted to achieve it at Sepang, the home race for the Brackley-based outfit's title sponsor, Petronas.
"I'm really pleased with my first front row start and it's great for me, the whole team and Petronas to have such a good qualifying result in Sepang for one of our home races. It was very difficult out there today and hard to keep it on the road at times," Rosberg said.
"My run in Q3 was definitely my best of the day and I put in a good time on the first quick lap. By the second lap, the tyres started to degrade so it just wasn't possible to go any quicker from there.
"As soon as we went out, I thought intermediates were the way to go and maybe I should have come in but in the end it worked out well for us. I'm confident that we can have a strong race from here tomorrow, if it is wet or dry, and I'm looking forward to it."
Team-mate Michael Schumacher also made it through to the final ten in qualifying, although he didn't fare as well as Rosberg and will start eighth, complaining that his tyres had gone off.
"I am obviously a little disappointed with my result today as it was evident from the earlier qualifying sessions that we looked pretty good and I clearly could have achieved more," Schumacher said. "On my last run in Q3, I wanted to secure a lap time and then go for the second lap but after I finished my first quick lap, the tyres were already gone so I could not go for it anymore. Though it is good to know the limits of the wet tyres for tomorrow, now I have to concentrate fully on the race."
Mercedes GP team principal, Ross Brawn meanwhile was happy to see both of his drivers' make it into Q3, and delighted to see Rosberg bag P2.
"An excellent performance from Nico today to achieve his first front row grid start in what were very challenging conditions for all of the drivers," Brawn summed-up. "In these situations, it is important to keep a cool and calm head and I'm very pleased with how the team worked together to ensure that we competed in all three sessions.
"It was a bit close on occasion but we reacted well and the drivers did the most important job of keeping the car on the track. In Q3, Nico had a great first lap to achieve his time for second position, however the wet tyres degraded very quickly and Michael suffered particularly on his second quick lap and was not able to improve. It's very pleasing to have achieved our best grid position of the season here in Sepang for Petronas's home race."